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Dave Sifry on Making Your Blog Popular

David Sifry BigDave Sifry gives a few basic tips in next month’s Wired on how to get more traffic to your blog.

It’s pretty basic stuff but has a few good points (his headings are in bold – my thoughts after each with links to where you can read more on each):

  1. React quickly - IF your blog is news related or talking about current events or any other time specific topic this is key. I operate in a few product related niches and know if I can have a post out within hours of a product announcement that I stand a good chance of being linked to by other sites and being first to be indexed by Search Engines and other indexing sites. It also helps you get credibility and loyal readers who want to know the latest news and get Scoops.
  2. Make your posts easy to read – I had dinner with a reader last night and one of the things he told me that he likes about my blogging is that he finds it accessible. He said it was like sitting in a cafe with a coffee and chatting with me. I’m not saying that my style of writing is how everyone should write – but it’s always been my goal to write in an accessible style and I think it’s paid off. So write in a style that’s easy to read but also a form that is digestible (which includes thinking about things like scannable content, using lists etc)
  3. Link, link, link! – Dave’s right in what he says about this being somewhat counter intuitive. Many bloggers guard their outbound links and only do it when they have to in the hope that it’ll keep people on their blogs. While there are some circumstances where outbound links will be less appropriate than others – in general I think linking to others is a worthwhile way of participating in the wider conversation – which has the flow on benefit of traffic. Read more on the times when outbound links are and are not appropriate.
  4. Optimize for search engines – While you never want to lose site of the fact that you’re writing for humans, it’s also worth noting that most people find content online at one time or another via search engines. As a result to ignore basic SEO principles you’re limiting the potential to be found by those actively searching for it.
  5. Post, post, post! – There’s no need to go overboard and post just for the sake of it – but keep your posting level up to the highest rate that you can sustain without sacrificing on quality. The key is establishing regular frequency and keeping momentum going on your blog. Read more on whether Posting Frequency Matters.

Dave’s pointers are fairly entry level and are tips that most bloggers have heard before – but the reality is that it’s often the basics things that work best.

Also check out my post with 19 strategies for finding readers for your blog.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Nice quick guide, good point about – posting often but not so much that the quality of your articles drop.

  2. … and sometimes we lose sight of the basics.

  3. Lisa says:

    It’s so right, and a great reminder for all of us! Even tho I don’t have a news blog, hee hee.

  4. Renee says:

    I’m the worst person to do a news blog. My life is already filled with so many impromptus and caffeine, and to keep my pulse on new products release will probably increase my heartrate. Maybe then I can ditch my spinning class. ;p

  5. Alex Krycek says:

    Nice read; very informative. Small note: on suggestions number four you use “site” instead of “sight”.

  6. Unfortunately, if Mr. Sifry thinks your blogs “have little or no original content and/or appear to be computer generated … (their) systems will automatically mark all blogs that are using (the same) adsense ID as spam”.. then all your hard work in trying to make your blogs popular will be futile – .. i.m.o..

  7. Rodolfo says:

    good for my research on blogs b4 starting to actually do it….as they say: If you r gonna do it, do it right!

  8. Liara Covert says:

    I see many benefits to blogs. Posts provoke thought and discussion and also strengthen networking among readers and contributors. I’m always open to ways I can learn about increasing my website traffic. I also like to enable readers to learn new things as well.

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